The Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, from Argentina, stressed on Monday the importance of the agricultural sector in Latin America and the Caribbean for global food security and the need to continue actions to strengthen and modernize the sector.
“I express my firm conviction that the American continent is called to be the guarantor of food, nutritional and environmental security for our planet. Only with our participation and commitment will this global objective be achieved,” said Otero at the inauguration ceremony for his second term as head of IICA for the period 2022-2026, an event that was held virtually.
Otero, who gave a speech before ministers of the continent and representatives of international organizations, said that the current global context marked by the Covid pandemic “shapes a new reality”, from which, he said: “We will emerge recognizing that our agrifood system is a key strategic axis for promoting sustainable progress, employment, wealth generation and social peace”.
New food geopolitics
“We are facing a new agrifood geopolitics that represents a constellation of challenges and opportunities. One of them is to consolidate and strengthen the important position of our continent in world trade, a position that gives us great global weight and requires us to keep up to date on a permanent basis,” said the Director General of IICA.
Otero thanked the ministers of the hemisphere for the support they gave him during his first four years in office with a view to modernizing the organization and ensuring that “agriculture and rural territories are seen as strategic assets in a region that has enormous potential to contribute to the solution of regional and global crises.
Otero highlighted achievements such as the consensus of the region in its positions during the Agrifood Systems Summit last September and said that IICA will continue to promote this type of action as a bridge between nations, regions and continents.
He added that IICA will promote actions between the public and private sectors, academia, civil society and international organizations, and actions aimed at formulating new public policies with a long-term vision for the transformation of agrifood systems towards sustainability.
The event was attended by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, who underscored IICA’s work to promote multilateralism and the development of agriculture.